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Calgary’s Next Economy: Pianity creates NFT option for musicians

Kevin Primicerio and his co-founders wanted to bring the concept of scarcity to the music industry.

Streaming systems have allowed subscribers unlimited use of an artist’s content. Covid wreaked havoc on live gigs. So Primicerio and the Pianity team examined how they could create another way to build income as a musician.

France-based Pianity taps into the non-fungible token (NFT) idea to create exclusivity for musicians.

Not only does it create scarcity for certain releases, Primicerio said, it also provides a direction for the funds generated. Users don’t know where their monthly sub fees go for other platforms.

“Music is a commodity, whereas most of the arts, like painting, sculpting, whatever is like you do, you’re doing something. So, it has value because of this,” Primicerio said.

“I wanted to bring this concept into music.”

 Primicerio said they’re a type of streaming platform, but it’s 100 per cent free.  If a user wants to own a track, they can purchase the NFT. That gives them the freedom to play it wherever and whenever they want.

On their webpage it says: “Everyone can listen to music. Only one can own it.” Some recordings only have one saleable edition. Others have 1,000.  There’s an option to auction the unique recording.

When a user buys the NFT to play the music, the bulk of that money goes directly to the artist.

“In that sense, we like this kind of series of NFTs, where we can capture more value and distribute it to the artist,” he said.

Primicerio likened it to the days of buying videos or DVDs, or even records and CDs. The NFT holder now owns their own electronic copy of the music.

Breaking through in North America

Primicerio said one of the primary drivers behind their participation in the Platform Calgary Reverb program was exposure to North America.

Having mentors and connections on this continent was important to reach musicians and other industry professionals.

“The industry in North America is very different from the industry in Europe,” he said.

“There’s a way to talk to artists, labels, and everyone is probably very different. So, we wanted to know, to see from the inside.”

The key moving forward for Pianity is to grow the transaction volume. That’s the short-term, straightforward goal. They want to grow faster than the roughly 50 other companies in this field.

“Our goal is to continue with that growth because we want to be a leader in the music NFT market,” Primicerio said.

They want to have the broadest number of artists with the widest selection of music. All with the pitch of getting artists on board so they can control their revenue, with the widest audience.

“We’re trying to bring as many NFT collectors on the platform as possible,” he said.